Late Nite Wars - Who's Going to Miss You If You Go? (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Late Nite Wars

Who's Going to Miss You If You Go? (2011)


The promising pop-punk career of Massachusetts natives Late Nite Wars comes to a grinding halt with their sole full-length release, Who's Going to Miss You If You Go?. An album with a title that turned out to be far more self-deprecating than the band's members probably would have hoped, it's a collection of scrappy, buoyant pop-punk songs that bring proper closure to the act's short run.

Opener "This Is How You Disappear" is deceiving: A Kinsella-style riff propels the song into instantly familiar and playful territory, akin to recent efforts from their New England peers: namely, Transit's Promise Nothing and My Heart to Joy's Reasons to Be. While Late Nite Wars provide similarly soaring, melodic pop-punk informed generously by '90s/'00s emo throughout the album's course, this first verse is more or less the LP's lone shark. The rest of Miss You provides more of a logical continuation from the band's first three EPs, with knotty, earnest pop-punk with equal crunch and cleanliness, and plenty of flickers of creativity to keep things interesting.

Admittedly, plenty of bands in recent years have adopted Lifetime's melodic hardcore mantra of speed and catchiness and added a poppier slant to it. This is something Late Nite Wars were proud bearers of on the aforementioned EPs, and it continues here in songs like the punchy, urgent "Thread", closer "Aye Dios Mio, Adios Mi Hijo" and the groanworthily titled "FMLOL". But even on a track like "Thread", say, their penchant for structural dynamics comes alive with relatively unpredictable changes.

While the re-recorded cuts here ("Work Isn't Working", "Death by Routine" and "Dragon the Anchor") sound as good as they did in the first place on, again, said EPs, the standout track here is "Bones". It's the most heartbreaking song on here, with a tone straight out of Fairweather's If They Move...Kill Them, beginning with aggressive, punchy power chords and affected yelps and making its way to a humming, almost atmospheric half-time chorus. If the band recorded an album full of bangers with this sort of emotional dynamism, it'd be fantastic.

As is, though, Late Nite Wars' debut proper remains a pretty engaging and enjoyable half-hour. The band proved through a trio of EPs they could rep their genre well, and Who's Going to Miss You If You Go? shows they were able to keep it up for the length of a proper album. They've gone now, though, and at least I'll miss them a little.

Who's Going to Miss You If You Go? (I wish I could tell you why the tracks are in alphabetical order, but I can't. Here's the proper track listing.)